The Weary Artisan

I found this short story in a book I read over Christmas. It was just at the time God was beginning to speak to me about wells. I nearly fell of my chair when I began to read it – it was so appropriate for where I was at right then, and still am.

 

The Weary Artisan

 

A weary artisan has been wandering in the desert of creativity for days. Her heart is dry and her lungs are lined with sand.  She desperately needs to discover some notion of some idea that is, in some way, creative.  Her village elders are counting on her to create – to bring their ideas into an existence that stirs, inspires and communicates.
In the distance, she sees the beautiful image of a well.  She drags her sand-caked feet toward the image, and reads the hand-carved sign on an old piece of wood, propped up against the well.
The sign reads, ‘creativity.’
She places her wind-brned hands against the circular cobblestone wall that surrounds the seemingly bottomless hole in the ground.
She cusps her hands, leans down, and she fills her palms with…
Nothing.
The air from the empty well whisks upward, through her hands, through her hair and into the sky.
The Well of Creativity is empty.
She’s desperate, so she continues her journey.  She discovers four then five more wells.  All have a sign near them that promise ‘creativity.’
And all are empty.
After severe disappointment and extreme thirst, there appears to be one well in the distance,.  Any hope for finding the Creative Idea has been reduced to ashes, and she questions whether or not to even approach this well. her heart is weary, her lips are dry, and hr village needs her to return with that sacred gift. And soon. 
She moves toward the well, and sees a wooden sign, propped up against the stones. But the sign says something different at this well. Rather than, ‘Creativity’, this sign says…
‘The Living God.’
She leans into the well, barely.  She cups her palms together, reaches down and is immediately flooded with the cool waters of a Creative Idea. She’s finally discovered what she’s been searching for all along. And now her fruitless searching has borne sweet fruit.
A Creative Concept that will benefit the entire village. 
She arrives back in that village, and her elder question her about the creative idea she’s returned with.  Her explanation is simple.
She respectfully speaks: “I found the Well of Creativity to be empty – time and time again.  While there were many seeking to drink for it there was nothing there. It may have been a mirage.”
But she continues…
“When after many days, however, I discovered the Well of the Living God, I was supplied with the Creative Idea I was searching for, and  that our village needed.
Two of the village Elders simply stared, but one smiled.
He had been on the same journey years before.  

 

The book where I found this is called “Pursuing Christ, Creating Art” by Gary A Molander. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. I’ve almost finished reading it a second time and I am going to read it a third time, there is just so much truth in it if you are in any way involved with creativity or the church or both.

Advertisements

Bitter Waters

Exodus 15:22-27

“Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah. So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” Then he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet…  Then they came to Elim where there were twelve springs of water and seventy date palms, and they camped there beside the waters.”

They came to Marah, they place of the bitter waters.  They had already been lost in the wilderness and now they were at a place where the waters were bitter and they couldn’t get anything to drink.

Can things get any worse? They were lost, thirsty, angry, confused.

What to do?

They could’ve turned back. Given up. but they trusted their leader and their leader trusted God.

And God showed their leader that that he could trust in the tree.

We can all trust in the tree.

That tree points to another tree.

A tree that removes the bitterness of our sin by the sweetness of his grace.  The tree proves that what is broken can bring healing.  No matter what our brokenness, lostness, confusion or disappointment, no matter how bitter life can be at times, trusting in the tree can bring sweetness to those bitter waters.

Those bitter waters will be made sweet.

And then you can move on.  Move on to Elim where there is rest under the palm trees for your tired bodies, and refreshing from the wells for your thirsty souls.

Well Well Well

Toward the end of last year I started to ask God what he was saying to me in the year 2012. I was expecting him to speak to me by way of a verse of scripture  – something that I could really grab a hold of and run with this year. However with me and God it’s never that simple. He never makes it easy for me and instead of giving me a verse that would clearly set everything out for the year ahead he gave me a picture – a jigsaw picture – and he started giving it to me tiny piece by tiny piece.

 

The picture was of a well. From the beginning of December it seemed that every time I read the Bible I came across a story about a well, every time I picked up a book there was a story about a well. So, what I’m going to do with this blog is bring all the little pieces and put them together and see what kind of picture we can make. I don’t know what the well is – I think the well represents many things – me, God, other people, my creativity. There is no wrong answer and that’s what I love about this whole thing – the well will be whatever or whoever I need it to be at that particular time.

 

So will you come on this journey with me to see what God is trying to say?

He Is…

Two thousand years ago Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”

 

At the dawn of this New Year he is asking you the same question, “Who do you say that I am?”

 

To Abraham He was Jehovah Jireh – the God who provides.

As Abraham climbed Mount Moriah with his son, he was carrying a heavy load – not the wood on his back but the sadness that this was the last journey he would ever take with his son. God required Abraham to offer up the thing most precious thing he ever possessed and Abraham willingly obeyed. But all the while, as Abraham and Isaac climbed one side of the mountain, there was a ram climbing up the other side of that same mountain.  That ram was God’s provision.  God provided for Abraham at the very point of his need.  Whatever need you face this year, God’s provision is making it’s way to you. Whatever bill comes through your door – He is your provider.

 

To Moses He was Jehovah Nissi – The Lord is My Banner.

This he declared as he won an arduous battle over the enemy. God was the Commander in Chief fighting in his corner. Do not forget whatever battle you may be facing this year, God has already fought the battle and triumphed. You do not fight for victory, You fight from victory – He is your Banner.

 

To Gideon He was Jehovah Shalom – The God of Peace.

As Gideon pounded wheat on the threshing floor, crouching in fear of a terrible enemy, the Angel of the Lord commissioned him as a “mighty man of valor,” Commander in Chief of the Israelite Army.  Fear struck Gideon as he saw himself as the least of all his people.  But he chose to believe God’s opinion instead of his own.  Whatever commission God calls you to this year choose to believe that in Him you are able.  In the midst of fear – He is your Peace.

 

To David He was Jehovah Roi – The Lord is my Shepherd.

As David sat on a hillside minding his sheep and contemplating his future the shepherd knew he needed a Shepherd.  He knew he needed to be led, fed and protected by the greatest Shepherd of all.  As you journey through the year that lies ahead He will lead you to green pastures and still waters and walk with you through every valley – He is your Shepherd.

 

Who do you say that He is?

 

As these saints who have gone before us have shown, He is who you declare him to be at your very point of need.

 

In sickness declare that He is your healer.

In grief declare that He is your comforter.

In loneliness declare that He is your friend.

In weakness declare that He is your strength.

In confusion declare that He is your wisdom.

In darkness declare that He is your light.

 

He is your Father.

 

He is Love.

 

He is.